Living within the constraints: Part II

Element of acceptance #1:  The willingness to live within the boundaries of life’s natural constraints



Get caught up by clicking here



Brittany’s body has constraints that suggested to us adoption was the path towards parenthood.  However, we have, as everyone does, financial constraints. Should those constraints prove too large, our new constraint would be life without children.  



We weren’t happy about these constraints.  We’re still not, in fact. We’re taking advantage of the resources we have available to us to process our various losses, including the loss of the way in which we thought life would go.  Yet, when the going got tough we were lucky enough to have people around us who were able to guide us into making decisions based on the constraints we have. They did not encourage us to make decisions based on a denial of the constraints.  



This was the first step in our journey towards acceptance, and I believe the first step in the journey for everyone struggling with new constraints.  We see the constraints and we respond accordingly. We don’t pretend they aren’t there by continuing to sacrifice Brittany’s present and future physical well-being.  We try to find a strategy that worked within the options available to us.



Sometimes, that is the best we can do in life.  We recognize that we have limited options available and we choose from within those options.  If we don’t do that, we’re either living in fantasy or setting ourselves up for even more disappointment.  



And, sometimes, having constraints pushes us towards creative and satisfying solutions we would not have otherwise considered.  I had not previously considered adoption and, as much as our losses hurt, I couldn’t be happier to be Norah’s dad.

Living within the constraints

Element of acceptance #1:  The willingness to live within the boundaries of life’s natural constraints



Get caught up by clicking here



I understand this post is longer than our usual posts.  Bear with, please.



One Thursday night last August was the worst night (so far) of me and Brittany’s life together.  We went to the doctor for an ultrasound on her pregnancy and found out that the pregnancy was not viable.  We also found out that Brittany has an extremely rare (less than 1% of women) condition: a unicornuate uterus, which basically means she has half of a uterus (at best).  After consulting with the doctors it became clear that, in her particular case, a best-case scenario is an extremely early (25 weeks or so) birth with incredibly high risks all the way around.  That is a true best-case scenario. In other words, statistically, we’d more than likely be looking at many, many losses and even if we could get to 25 weeks one of those times, that is still very touch-and-go for a baby (though it is technically possible for a baby to survive at that time) and for Brittany.  This is why, when people say to us, “Well you’ll probably get pregnant now that you’re adopting,” we respond with, “We hope not- as the risks are very high.” The risks are even higher now that we have a child of our own.  We do not feel we can risk losing Norah’s mom just to play roulette with biological children.



When we got this news, life presented us with a new set of constraints we did not previously know that we had.  IVF would not be particularly useful to us as we did not have problems getting pregnant (we had problems staying pregnant).  We could either: continue to risk Brittany’s body and health on the hope that we would stumble into a best-case scenario, at which point Brittany’s health would still be compromised and we would instantly be tasked with caring for an infant who may or may not live (again, that’s best-case).  Or, we could adopt.  Or, we could figure out what it would mean to live as two people who desperately want to be parents who will not have the opportunity.  Primarily we discussed the second and third options as Brittany already felt like she had been in physical agony for a full year.

You see, despite how much pain we were in, we knew we had to live within life’s constraints.

More on this tomorrow.